By Farhad Manjoo, Slate:
Almost a year ago, I proposed that Twitter double its character limit from 140 to 280. The microblogging site long ago outgrew its original purpose as a platform for simple status updates. Now people use Twitter for news, jokes, conversations, and ferocious arguments—and 140 characters is too cramped for all of these things. That’s why people often resort to hacks like multipart tweets, ugly textese, and TwitLonger to express their expansive thoughts. Though it would be a bad idea to drop the character limit entirely, allowing up to 280 characters would let people add more heft to their tweets while ensuring they wouldn’t drone on.
Everyone thought I was nuts. People at the company pointed out that the service is still used by lots of folks who rely on SMS text messaging for access; the 140-character limit was originally chosen so that tweets would fit within texts, and if Twitter dropped it, texters wouldn’t be able to see the bigger tweets… Read more